With spring storms on the horizon, the National Weather Service is working to prepare Texoma for the severe weather that often accompanies the season. The NWS will hold a training program for individuals wanting to become storm spotters from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 20 at Grayson College’s Center for Workplace Learning.
In many situations, storm spotters serve as a frontline for meteorologists and are the eyes in the field during significant weather, officials said.
“Our storm spotters relay real-time truths from the ground level to the National Weather Service about what is coming,” said Jennifer Dunn, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS Fort Worth office.
Through this training session, Dunn said individuals will be able to earn the certification needed to work as volunteer storm spotters for the NWS. The session will focus primarily on three topics including what you need to know to be a storm spotter, how to make reports to the national weather service and how to stay safe during a severe weather event.
“These classes are a good opportunity to gain general knowledge on the weather that we see here in North Texas,” she said.
Beyond assisting the NWS, Dunn said storm spotters often help local emergency management officials by giving early updates on where damage occurs during systems and the extent of it.
Representatives with the weather service will also go over and describe parts of a storm system so that individuals can better describe to meteorologists what they are seeing in the field. Representatives will give examples of proper and improper reports that have been made to the NWS in the past.
“By coming to this training session, you will gain a better understanding of Texas’ severe weather season,” Tom Bradshaw, meteorologist-in-charge at the NWS Fort Worth office, said in a press release. “Waiting until storms are on your doorstep is not the time to start thinking about severe weather preparedness.”
This month’s training session will be one of 35 held throughout North Texas ahead of the spring weather season, which traditionally extends from March through mid-June. Last year, North and Central Texas saw more than 40 tornadoes and straight-line wind events, among other significant weather.
A second training session will be held Feb. 26 at Finley-Oates Elementary in Bonham. For a full list of the training sessions, visit the national weather service’s website at https://www.weather.gov/fwd/skywarnsch?sptrsch.